Living with sensitive teeth can impact day-to-day activities and overall wellbeing. Hot or cold foods, a rush of air, and even acidic or sweet foods can set in a motion a painful barrage of tooth responses. The many types of tooth sensitivity can vary depending on the cause. Some sensitivity can manifest as dull or throbbing pain, other types of sensitivity express themselves in short bursts of sharp pain. The dentists from Dental Associates of Riverside discuss five causes of tooth sensitivity.

Tooth Sensitivity

  • Cavities commonly cause tooth sensitivity from hot or cold foods. Also referred to as dental caries, cavities occur when bacteria decay a portion of tooth. When a tooth decays, underlying dentin must handle the job of protecting teeth. Unfortunately, enamel does a much better job of protecting teeth from temperate foods than dentin. When foods or air hits the exposed dentin, sharp pain often results. If the cavity reaches beyond the dentin and extends to the nerve of a tooth, then a root canal could act as the only way to save the tooth from extraction.
  • Fractured teeth can also cause tooth sensitivity. Often, fractures result from people grinding or clenching their teeth. Bruxism (tooth grinding) commonly occurs overnight and many people remain unaware of their condition until a dentist notices significant wear. Commonly, patients discover they suffer from bruxism when their teeth fracture or break overnight. Reduce some of the ill-effects of bruxism with a nightguard, prescribed and custom-fit by your Riverside dentists. Trauma can also cause tooth fractures, such as an injury during a sporting event. Many people also fracture teeth biting into raw popcorn kernels or similar hard foods.
  • Sensitive teeth can also result from general tooth sensitivity. Tooth enamel thickness does not follow uniformity from human to human. Some people simply suffer from more sensitive teeth than others. Many over-the-counter toothpastes can aid in reducing sensitivity. However, tooth sensitivity could stem from gum disease, or acid erosion. Many people whom consume a large amount of sports or energy drinks find themselves suffering from acid erosion.
  • When teeth move, it could result in tooth sensitivity for some patients. Wisdom teeth commonly cause pain or discomfort prior to eruption or removal. The teeth and jaw are capable of exerting tremendous force. Consult with a Riverside dentist to determine if you suffer from impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Oft overlooked by many people, gum disease can certainly lead to tooth sensitivity. Currently, gum disease affects roughly 80% of the American adult population. Gum disease serves as the leading cause of adult tooth loss and can cause significant tooth sensitivity issues due to gum recession. When gums recede, sensitive tooth roots expose themselves to our harsh environment. Always make sure to brush twice daily for at least two minutes. Some dentists recommend electric toothbrushes to aid in reducing gum recession. Also, commit to flossing regularly and make sure to use an ADA-approved antimicrobial mouthrinse after each brushing.

Schedule Your Visit

Experiencing tooth sensitivity and not sure about the cause? At Dental Associates of Riverside, we can discuss effective means of tooth sensitivity prevention in our 92506 dentist office to help you avoid any pain. We offer comprehensive dental care and multi-specialty dentistry to our patients of all ages. Contact us by calling (951) 369-1001 to schedule an appointment today. We welcome patients from Riverside and all neighboring communities in Southern California.